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ijoe13 06-25-2019 06:24 PM

Clear Protectant Film offered by AS Dealer
Iím in Seattle and recently visited my local AS Dealer (easy to Google and find as I donít want to mention their name) to look at the new 2020 models they had in stock. I was just doing some window shopping and was asking a few questions. The sales rep mentioned they highly recommend having a clear protectant film (I canít remember the exact name of the product) installed at the dealer as it will negate the need to wax the trailer. They quoted something in the $120/foot cost to have this applied to an AS.

Iíve seen similar clear protectant film added to sports cars, but not sure how well the stuff would hold up on aluminum. Anyone have any insight?

BigSxyWhtGuy 06-25-2019 06:57 PM

Pass. I donít add anything dealers are trying to sell. No extended warranty, no detailing package, etc.

AlinCal 06-25-2019 07:01 PM

My take on the dealer applied add ons is itís just a way for them to get more money out of youíre wallet while they have you on the hook. The last trailer we bought was a used 2011 fc19 that was originally sold in Oregon and the sales document showed a $900 charge for some fancy clear coat that the name of eludes me of at the moment. Finish on the trailer as I got it a year ago was standard for a 2011.
If there was some magic coating available Airstream would be using it (I hope).

SilverWind 06-25-2019 07:16 PM

Highly profitable for RV and Auto dealers.

ROBERT CROSS 06-25-2019 07:19 PM


Apply your own 'protective' film...we use a 'WAX'👍


ijoe13 06-25-2019 07:40 PM

Clear Protectant Film offered by AS Dealer
I realize this is all the rage with sports cars, but I wouldnít spend my money on it either.

I also donít spend money on extended warranties either.

And thanks for the responses!

mikeinca 06-25-2019 09:02 PM

Clear protection films from 3M, XPEL, and others are not just for sports cars and offer very effective protection for painted finishes. The better films not only protect against scuffs, scratches and stone chips but if the film is damaged it can "heal" itself with the application of heat. Film can be waxed or coated with any product that you would normally use on the paint. I don't see why it wouldn't adhere to and protect the finish on an Airstream.

$120 per foot is actually not a bad price assuming that a quality film is being used and the person applying the film knows what they are doing. Typical pricing to do the front end of a car is around $2000 and an entire vehicle will cost $5-6K. At $120/foot a 25 foot Airstream would cost 3 grand which is pretty cheap by comparison, again assuming that the film is good quality and is expertly applied.

I'm not making a judgment as to whether applying film to an Airstream is "worth it". I'm just saying that if done properly it would have value and is not necessarily the same as some of the other add-on scams that dealers often try to sell you.

bweybright 06-25-2019 10:11 PM

First off, no wax for how long?.....2 weeks, 2 million years? What are they guaranteeing...and for bird smuts, tree sap, against what exactly? I would probably ask them for the Scientific challenge study and time study to show that their statement is true that my trailer will shine like off the showroom floor with their treatment........otherwise ask them if the sales person is taking you out to dinner on their increased commission check.
Now if you are going for classic car show finish maybe it works. But if you are going to use your trailer then I am not so sure, except that a dealer upcharge....which is valid for the crowd that buys one then never tows it and just looks at it - a valid option if it makes you happy.

mikeinca 06-25-2019 11:19 PM

The advantage of film is that it offers protection against dings and scratches, not so much that it keeps the trailer (or your car) looking shiny, so in that respect saying that film means you never have to wax is misleading. Applying some kind of finishing product is still a good idea even with film.

For what it's worth, film would be of the most value to someone who uses their Airstream on a regular basis and wants to avoid certain kinds of damage; less for the "crowd" that never tows their garage queen.

CRH 06-26-2019 06:38 AM

I bought 3m film and applied it to my trucks door jambs. It is durable stuff. It will protect unlike any wax or polish can. I would love have the entire truck professionally covered with it....Same for a brand new Airstream if I had one.

Shacksman 06-26-2019 07:02 AM

A friend had a plastic coating on his motorhome front. With time it aged cracked all over and became fused to the paint. Nothing tried would remove it.

lsbrodsky 06-26-2019 07:11 AM

My 10 cent input. I have used Xpel film and I have used ceramic coatings on expensive cars. Neither would appear to be applicable to Airstreams, although they have an automotive-type clearcoat. The quartz coatings really improve shine and make cleaning much easier, but offer no protection. The films offer protection but they do age if left outside, as in the case of most Airstreams. The films are not an alternative to seam sealing and trying to deal with that is a thing of nightmares.
After your first few dents or scratches, the idea of a pristine, showroom quality travel trailer is just banished from your mind. I just use a auto wash-wax combo fluid because I cannot face the idea of really waxing anything that big. I doubt it adds any real protection.

Darby Mc 06-26-2019 10:54 AM

I have a 2017 Bambi Flying Cloud, which came clear coated from the factory. The aluminum comes clear coated from their supplier. I don’t know when AS started offering as “standard”on all their models, but believe it continues as this is a big selling point. If I’m wrong about it being standard please enlighten me. I just washed my AS yesterday and found no flaws in the surface to indicate any flaws in the coat. The unit sits out in all weather here in Wisconsin.

I don’t see anyone else bringing this up, so I will. If this clearcoat is standard, why would further treatment be offered by a dealer? Does the salesperson know what they are talking about, or is a crafty hook for the unaware?

wavelength 06-26-2019 12:55 PM

Are you kidding me
So at $120 per foot a 25ft AS would cost $3000 for the magic sealant. You can have your trailer waxed twice a year for 10 years and still have change left over. Forget about it!!

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